Skip Navigation

Cancer diagnosis spurs Jenks Public Schools staffer to complete bachelor's degree

Published: Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Stephanie Moore

Stephanie Moore struggled off and on for nearly 20 years to complete a bachelor’s degree while working full-time, but life kept getting in the way.

Then she was diagnosed with cancer.

“It was as if my own mortality stepped up and slapped me in the face,” she said. “I started thinking seriously about my dreams, my ambitions and the very finite amount of time all of us are given.”

It was then she made the decision to enroll at OSU-Tulsa and earn a bachelor’s degree in management with a minor in human resources. Moore graduated on May 15.

Moore says her new degree is the reason that Jenks Public Schools promoted her to director of personnel department.

“Even though some dreams may take longer than others to realize, I am proud to show my children what can be accomplished through hard work and perseverance,” Moore said.

Moore said she started college, then stopped several times because she didn’t know where to place her focus.

“I changed my degree path four times in 19 years in an attempt to somehow find the end of my education road,” she said. “I began to shift my attention to my family and away from my education.”

Moore said OSU-Tulsa was the right place for her. She enrolled in 2015. Flexible class schedules and the guidance of a special academic counselor were pivotal to her success in reaching her educational goals, she said.

“The support I received from my adviser, Sarah Vizza, was beyond anything I could have expected,” Moore said. “When the waters got deep, she came to my rescue.”

The support of her family and her employer also helped her get through.

“The spark that re-ignited my passion for a degree was certainly unexpected,” Moore said. “It was sudden and it was devastating, but it also served a greater purpose.”

Media Contact: Aaron Campbell | 918-594-8046 |